2 Chronicles 35: 1—36: 23
The close of this book ends with the final apostasy and exile to Babylon. Very soon we are going to get to read Jeremiah’s account of this time period.
1 Corinthians 1: 1-17
This is a new book for us! I am headed out of town this week, so I wanted to leave you with my take on the context of this book. That way you can journey through it yourself armed with the context, because I am taking some time off of writing while we are on our family vacation.
The town of Corinth was notorious. There is actually an ancient proverb that says, “Not for every man is the voyage to Corinth.” They served the fake goddess Aphrodite. You know the goddess of love? And to worship her you had to go down to the temple and um, eh, have relations with one of her temple prostitutes. Immorality was rampant. The town was also known for its materialism. But it was a very favorable location for trade and commerce.
Paul visited Corinth in 51 AD on his first missionary journey. He planted this church. He knows the area. He apparently wrote to them frequently because he refers to other letters he to wrote them. God saw fit to only include two letters in the Bible. He went to visit them again in 53 AD and this letter was probably written in 54 AD or 55 AD.
Now, to be fair the Corinth church is fighting an uphill battle. They do not have the modern bible for everyone to study. There are not slick bible studies for them to do or programs for them to participate in. This Church thing is new to everyone. So, the sheer fact that this church was still listening to Paul is a miracle in and of itself. Remember? Aphrodite and temple prostitutes trying to lure everyone into debauchery. As we will discover there are some gnarly things going on in this church but, the cool thing is God gave them abundant giftings to help them stand firm against their surroundings.
If Paul is addressing something in this letter it is because it is going on in the church or he has received word that there are wrong idea’s circulating. Right off the bat Paul states that he is “chosen by God” because there is a rumor that has reached him that someone is saying he is not really an apostle. And then he reminds them who they are. He also points out how God has enriched their church in every way. This proves that what Paul told them was true. Remember how we learned that God will always authenticate his messenger? Well, there you read about him doing it again.
And then, out of everything he could address, Paul first brings up unity in the church. Remember we read that in Romans too? Unity is so important for the church. There is some crazy stuff happening in this church as we will read in later chapters, but unity is at the top of the list for Paul to address. Their unity was disrupted because people started identifying with teachers instead of the One they are teaching them about, Jesus. Sound familiar? If we Christians had gotten this right, there would be no such thing as denominations. There I said it.